The current state of domestic water consumption and the feasibility of implementing a rainwater harvesting system in the coastal zone of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta: the case study of the Vinh Chau town, Soc Trang province

Ngoc Diep Nguyen1, Thi Le Hang Tran1Van Der Heiden Dion2, Diep Anh Tuan Dinh3, Pham Dang Tri Van1*

1College of Environment & Natural Resources, Can Tho University, Vietnam

2Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Holland

3Research Institute for Climate Change, Can Tho University, Vietnam

Received 8 January 2019; accepted 21 May 2019



The research was conducted to assess the feasibility of the installation of a rainwater harvesting system for households facing difficulties in using tap water and groundwater for domestic purposes in a coastal area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta - the case study of the Vinh Chau town, Soc Trang province. Direct household interviews and literature review were executed to comprehend the current state of domestic water consumption. According to the research results, Vinh Chau was among the towns seeing moderate rainfall in the delta (~ 1,776 mm/year), and rainwater was used frequently by the local people. However, local households did not employ proper harvesting techniques, hence the harvested rainwater did not meet the required quality for domestic use. Additionally, difficulties in using tap water, groundwater, and surface water were notable. The quality of tap water was not suitable for household consumption because of the presence of aluminum, and the price was high relative to the household’s income. Salinization of surface and groundwater, as well as degradation in quantity of ground water, made water of acceptable quality scarce. The research results also indicated that the use of rainwater harvested by a proper system demonstrated a higher cost efficiency than that of other water resources. Therefore, the installation of a rainwater harvesting system for water supply should be encouraged in order to provide a safe and efficient alternative water source for domestic use, and to contribute to the relief of domestic water-related issues and pressure on groundwater extraction in the study area.

Keywords: domestic water use, rainwater, rainwater harvesting system, Vinh Chau town.